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What Walmart's Acquisition of Means for Online Merchants

What Walmart’s Acquisition of Means for Online Merchants

Walmart’s acquisition of in 2016 was a major development in the e-commerce industry. As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart was looking to expand its online presence. was one of the fastest-growing online retailers at the time.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore what Walmart’s acquisition of means for online merchants and sellers. We’ll cover key details about selling on Walmart and, strategies for multi-channel selling, and advice on how to take advantage of opportunities from this acquisition.

By the end, you’ll understand how selling with both Walmart and can benefit your business. Let’s get started!

Background on the Acquisition

In September 2016, Walmart announced it would acquire for $3.3 billion. This was a major move by Walmart to expand its presence in e-commerce and compete directly with Amazon.

Some key details on the acquisition:

  • was founded in 2014 and had grown rapidly, attracting millions of customers with its low-price focus.
  • Walmart planned to allow to continue operating independently while also gaining access to Jet’s technology and customer base.
  • The deal gave Walmart the potential to attract younger, more affluent customers who may have been turned off by Walmart’s reputation as a “low-price” retailer.
  • It was an opportunity for Walmart to leverage’s strengths while promoting its marketplace to Jet’s growing customer base.

So while and Walmart would remain separate at first, the acquisition opened major opportunities for sellers to reach new audiences through both marketplaces.

Selling on Walmart and

Let’s explore the key considerations for merchants looking to sell on Walmart and post-acquisition:

Selling on Walmart

  • Large audience: With over 250 million visits per week across its websites, Walmart has immense reach. Selling there gives broad exposure.
  • Early adoption opportunity: In 2016, Walmart’s marketplace was relatively new with few third-party sellers. This provided less competition for merchants.
  • Resources for growth: As the market leader, Walmart has vast resources to invest in expanding its marketplace, benefiting participating sellers.
  • Low seller fees: Walmart charges straightforward commission fees on sold items instead of subscription or listing fees like some competitors.

Selling on

  • Premium reputation: caters to a more affluent demographic, helping brands appeal to a more differentiated segment than Walmart alone.
  • Simple selling model: Jet emphasised low prices and made selling straightforward with features like handling sales tax.
  • Rapid growth: Merchants could leverage’s momentum and influx of customers drawn by Walmart’s acquisition.
  • Complement Walmart: Reaching users allowed merchants access to a distinct pool of shoppers compared to just Walmart.

By selling on both marketplaces, merchants gained exposure to Walmart’s massive audience while tapping’s distinct positioning and growth opportunities. This created a major multi-channel strategy.

Asian working together on a project two young business colleagues working stock photo

Suggested Multi-Channel Strategy

We recommend the following multi-channel approach for merchants after Walmart’s acquisition:

  1. Set up seller accounts on both Walmart and Have inventory and product data integrated across marketplaces.
  2. Launch identical product listings. Syncronizing SKUs and prices ensures a seamless customer experience across sites.
  3. Invest in on-site visibility. Optimise product pages with high-quality content and images. Consider sponsored ads or promotions.
  4. Leverage cross-promotional opportunities. Promote your products to Walmart customers and vice versa using on-site advertising or email campaigns.
  5. Analyse sales performance. Regularly monitor how customers are interacting with your products on each marketplace to optimise pricing and marketing.
  6. Expand the catalogue as needed. As your presence grows, add new products catering to each marketplace’s distinctive customer profiles.

This approach maximised exposure and sales potential across Walmart’s gigantic audience and’s growing niche. Regular analytics guided refinements over time.

Considerations for Multi-Channel Selling

While expanding to Walmart and presents opportunities, there are several considerations for merchants:

  • Inventory and fulfilment: maintaining adequate stock levels and minimising out-of-stocks required coordination across marketplaces.
  • Customer service: Responding to inquiries, returns, etc. across sites ups support workload. Consistent policies eased this.
  • Promotional alignment: Special offers need synchronisation, or they can cause customer confusion.
  • Financial obligations: additional selling fees, inventory costs, and resources need to be budgeted up front.
  • Data management: Integrating order, customer and inventory details across systems adds technical complexity.

Careful planning mitigated these challenges. The Anthropic platform is one solution automating multi-channel operations. Overall, the benefits typically outweighed extra effort for engaged merchants.

Key Takeaways

To summarise, here are the main points on how Walmart’s acquisition impacts online merchants:

  • Gained exposure to Walmart’s massive customer base plus’s distinct, fast-growing segment
  • Early adoption on Walmart provided less competition, while was primed for growth
  • Selling on both the leveraged advantages of each marketplace for maximum sales potential
  • Required coordinated multi-channel strategy across listings, promotions and operations
  • Presented amplified opportunities but also increased workload, so thorough planning was important

By embracing a synchronised selling approach on Walmart and, merchants maximised the benefits of this acquisition. Let’s now address some common questions.


Given that Walmart now owns, is it still worthwhile to sell it?

A: Yes, remains a distinct marketplace from Walmart and provides access to a differentiated customer segment. While it shares resources with Walmart, its value proposition attracts a specific niche that’s worth tapping into.

Q: How much effort is needed to manage listings on both sites simultaneously?

Initial setup and ongoing synchronisation require work, but automation tools can minimise duplication of tasks. The effort pays off due to increased sales potential from dual exposure. Monitoring performance helps optimise processes over time.

Q: What are the main technical integrations required for multi-channel operations?

Key systems to connect include your inventory and order management software to the marketplaces’ APIs, as well as catalogue and customer data integration points. An all-in-one e-commerce platform streamlines this best.

Q: Is the competitive landscape less crowded at Walmart than at Amazon?

Yes, when Walmart began expanding its marketplace in the mid-2010s, it had far fewer sellers than the well-established Amazon. This provided a better early-mover advantage window than on Amazon. However, Walmart marketplace participation has grown significantly since.

Q: What are the main differences in seller fees between Walmart and

A: Walmart charges commission on sales, while levies no listing or subscription fees. However, Jet’s base commission rate tends to be a few points higher. Fees vary by product category as well.

Q: How do customers differ between the two marketplaces?

A: In general, appealed more to affluent millennials through its original positioning. Walmart shoppers span all demographics but tend to be more value-conscious. Understanding these profiles helps with sales decisions like assortment, packaging, and marketing.

I hope this guide has given you a thorough understanding of Walmart’s acquisition and the multi-channel selling opportunities it created for merchants. Please let me know if any other questions come up!

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